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Kent State Ashtabula’s AITP Club Wins at Conference

Posted Jun. 23, 2014
enter photo description
Members of the Kent State University at Ashtabula
Association of Information Technology Professionals
(AITP) recently attended the AITP National Conference
Awards Banquet in Atlanta, Georgia. The group won
several awards, including national Outstanding Student
Chapter of the Year.

The Kent State University at Ashtabula Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) student group continued its run of success by taking home several honors, including Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year, at the recent AITP National Collegiate Conference in Atlanta.

Nearly 70 schools and more than 700 attendees participated in the 19th annual event, which featured workshops, educational sessions, keynote speeches, breakout sessions, research presentations, networking, and student events and contests highlighting the IT profession.

“I appreciate all the opportunities that are available as a result of attending the conference,” says Melissa Johnson, a junior computer technology and applied communications major from Rock Creek, Ohio. “Not only are the competitions a great way to test your skills, but being able to take the certification exams at no cost is a great opportunity. Plus, being able to speak with industry experts and prospective employers is a great experience.”

The Kent State Ashtabula AITP group was named the association’s outstanding chapter for the first time, besting chapters from the University of Texas at El Paso, Missouri State University and Ball State University. Additionally, Kent State Ashtabula was named Region 18 Outstanding Chapter of the Year.

“Our students do so well every year they attend the conference, nearly always coming home with trophies, awards, certifications and remarkable educational and career experiences,” says Carolyn Carvalho, computer technology lecturer and one of the club’s advisors. “Being selected this year as both the regional and national Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year, shows that students on our campus can hold their own against any in the nation.” 

In order to attend the national event, the Kent State Ashtabula AITP club members committed themselves throughout the year in a number of activities to raise the necessary funds. Those activities included the annual “Get Your Geek On” technology sale and AITP Rummage Sale, ink and toner cartridge recycling, a murder mystery dinner event, as well as candy, baked goods and food sales throughout the year. The efforts resulted in a record 15 students attending the conference.

“I’m very happy all their hard work and efforts to realize their goal to attend this year’s conference paid off,” Carvalho says. “In addition to the many hours of study each week, attending classes, working jobs and caring for their families, our students found creative ways to raise money for this trip. I am just so impressed by what they do to reach their goals. They certainly deserve all the successes they achieved and any accolades that come their way.”

The group also earned first and second place honors in the Student Chapter Banner Contest (1st – Artistic category, 2nd- Professional) and the Student Chapter Shirt Contest (1st – Professional, 2nd – Casual).

Students may also test for professional certification during the conference, with four Kent State Ashtabula students doing just that. Those earning certifications were:

  • COMMON Business Computing Associate (CBCA) – Katrina Cozy
  • ICCP Information Systems Analyst (ISA) – Rita Hennigan (Mastery Level), Nick Shaffer, Karen Klimek

Additionally, student Rita Hennigan was named one of 10 finalists for the organization’s national Robert Half Scholarship.

“This was the third time I was able to attend the national conference and it was easily my best experience,” says Shaffer of Ashtabula, a senior technology major. “Many of us posted impressive individual scores on the certification exams and other contests, and winning the Outstanding Chapter award, which is the biggest accomplishment to date for our club, was very thrilling.”